The Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in Kwara State, Mr. Isyaku Sharu has said that past governors of the state spent a total sum of N15 billion, which they collected as security votes between 2003 and 2018.
Sharu, who spoke during the 26th edition of the Media Parliament Lecture of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists held in Ilorin on Wednesday, also disclosed that the funds were spent to settle security personnel, who used to hang around the governors.
Stressing that corruption had become endemic in the country, he said the EFCC was established in the state due to several complaints from the people.
“The complaints became so loud towards the end of 2018 that the Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, had to create the Ilorin zonal office of the commission to look into the long-standing persistent economic and financial crimes issues in the state.
“It is noteworthy that Kwara State is one of the first states in Nigeria created as far back as May 27, 1967. Although the state has had several leaders, it has over the years not maximized its potentials largely due to the alleged cases of mismanagement and embezzlement of States resources.”
Sharu added that in the course of carrying out its assignment in the state, the commission noticed with great disappointment that the people of Kwara were sometimes scared of exposing the corrupt and bad eggs amongst them.
He said that, in spite of the obstacle, the state branch of the EFCC was able to secure 26 convictions, recovered several properties ranging from hotels, plazas, residential houses, fleet of cars and hundreds of millions of naira in cash, which were all forfeited to the Federal Government.
He also said that the commission also checked the activities of cybercriminals, known as ‘Yahoo Yahoo,’ in Kwara, Kogi and Ekiti States, which were the areas of operation of the zone.
Sharu also said that the EFCC raised awareness of corruption through public enlightenment campaigns in schools and among members of the National Youth Service Corps.
He appealed to journalists to assist the commission in its assignment by sensitizing the people on society’s positive values, which abhor illicit and fraudulent tendencies.